Author Topic: Paranormal Investigator: Jason Hawes  (Read 3658 times)

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Paranormal Investigator: Jason Hawes
« on: September 03, 2006, 05:06:57 AM »
September 01, 2006

Jason Hawes says he's been attacked by a ghost, stalked by another and even taped the whispers of dead people calling out from beyond the grave. But the co-star of the Sci Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters is more leery of the people who summon his team to investigate hauntings.

"We went to one little old lady's home," he says, "and after 45 minutes she's chasing us around with a frying pan. She had the beginnings of schizophrenia and she thought we had broken into her home. She had forgotten that she had invited us in."

Hawes will talk about uninvited guests of the paranormal kind in Atlanta today when he and his colleagues appear at DragonCon, the four-day science-fiction and fantasy convention at three downtown hotels.

Hawes, 34, doesn't believe that ghosts are fantasy. He formed TAPS - the Atlantic Paranormal Society - with his friend Grant Wilson in 1990 after a personal paranormal experience. They've been chasing ghosts ever since. TAPS started in a spare room in Hawes' apartment, but it took off after The New York Times ran an article on it on Halloween in 2002. The article featured some of the elements that would later make TAPS famous: the scientific approach toward investigating hauntings and refusing to charge people for their investigations ("the rich and the poor both need help," Hawes told the Times).

"The next thing I know I had an agent, producers calling me and it just steamrolled," Hawes says.

The Sci Fi Channel picked up the series in October 2004 and a spokeswoman says the show has enjoyed high ratings for the cable network. The show returns for its third season on Oct. 11 when TAPS travels to England and Ireland to investigate haunted castles. TAPS has branches across the United States and affiliates in 12 countries.

A typical show unfolds with a TAPS team being summoned by an anxious homeowner. TAPS members stay overnight at the location to gather evidence using high-tech equipment they say is designed to capture unusual sound waves and images. In each case, they try to disprove a haunting but sometimes come up with harrowing results that appear to defy explanation. In one show, for example, they filmed a cameraman apparently being attacked by an entity that hurled him to the ground.

Hawes says he's never been afraid during an investigation. "There are times that you get startled, but scared, no."

Not even during one show when some entity apparently attacked him and left a red bruise on his back? "That's all that happened," he says. "It would be different if I would get slapped around the room."

Some wonder if the paranormal events that TAPS captures on tape and film are staged, but Hawes says that "everything that happens is 100 percent real." Most of their investigations debunk supernatural causes, he points out. "We might go on 30 cases and out of the 30 cases, we'll catch things on two cases," he says.

Hawes says some of the show's appeal may be rooted in his demeanor. He's not a tweedy scientist or a flamboyant psychic hotline television character. He and his partner, Wilson, are Roto-Rooter plumbers and family men. Yet he admits they've become such celebrities that they no longer answer residential calls for Roto-Rooter. "We've had people break toilets trying to get me and Grant in their houses," he says.

Hawes says he never worries about bringing his work - or some uninvited spirits - home.

"I have faith in myself and a higher power," he says. "I think I'm perfectly safe."

source:Springfield News-Sun